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29.11.2011 General News

Okyehene is not engaged in 'galamsey'- Okyeman Youth

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Accra, Nov 29, GNA-Mr Daniel Marfo Ofori Panin, General Secretary of the Okyeman Youth Association (OYA), on Tuesday condemned publications that accused Okyehene Osagyefo Amotia Ofori Panin of engaging in illegal small scale mining popularly known as "galamsey".

“We wish to express on behalf of all well meaning citizens of Okyeman our outright condemnation of the reckless, illegal, uncustomary and disrespectful actions and utterances of Nana Kwame Adjei and his colleagues.There is no iota of evidence linking the okyehene to the galamsey business.”

Mr Ofori-Panin who was speaking at a press conference in Accra on the allegations, said Okyehene was world acclaimed for his struggle in the global environment and green movement and would therefore not engage in any action or inaction that would jeopardize the lives of the people.

Last week, there were stories in the Ghanaian media that implicated the Okyehene of engaging in galamsey activities, which subsequently incurred the wrath of the Association to come to the defence of the overlord of Okyeman.

The General Secretary said it was through the instrumentality and visionary leadership of Okyehene that the University College of Agriculture and Environmental studies that would form the research and institutional backbone for modern scientific agriculture was established in Okyeman Traditional Area and wondered why Okyehene would turn around to engage in such illegal activities.

“If not for his principled stance and advocacy 10 years ago, the whole of the Atiwa forest- a strategic ecological zone- would have been wiped out,” he added.

The OYA members also accused prominent people in the area of supporting the Royal Asona family to drag the name of Okyehene in the mud.

Mr Ofori-Panin suggested to government to come out with a legal and policy regime that would recognize the right of the youth to small scale mining and institute an effective regulatory scheme that would enforce environmental and health standards and provide technological training for the youth engaged in the trade.


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